“Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy” – Plato. Critically examine.

Tyranny means rule by cruel and oppressive govt. while democracy can be defined rule by the people for people. Plato believed in the idea of ruling by a philosopher king, which has the four cardinal virtue – wisdom, courage, temperance, & justice.

According to him, excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in opposite direction. Hence, democracy, with the time, leads to more liberty, which in turn, leads to more demands and vocalization of rights by the people and hence create conflict situation in society. This lead to law and order problem and giving an opportunity for rise of dictatorship or tyranny form of govt. The same can be noticed in where French revolution led to rise of brutal jacobians which in turn give way to Monarchy in the form of Napoelon. Similarly Russion revolution provided way for central rule of Bolshevik. For instance: In a electoral democracy in the process of power struggle it shifts the priorities of the elected candidates from greater good of people to establishing their stronghold; In process of defending one’s decisions, it is common to see rules being used to curb opposition. Ex: Use of Article 124A, Section 66A of IT act; Defamation laws.

Also, democracy being the majority rule may lead to autocracy through free and fair election also. For ex. Hitler came to power through election only.

However, democracy is also a better option to prevent tyranny.asit provides power with responsibility through the process of election, and the firm oppositionensures critical review of government’s work, which cannot happen in tyrannic rule.it also incentivizes the elected representatives to work with empathy, dedication and perseverance so as to win the popular mandate in the next elections.

Though, democracy is criticised by many philosophers including Plato as promoting tyranny but the type of tyranny observed in democracy is different from outright and cruel tyranny creating an atmosphere of fear observed in dictatorship (Ex: Hitler, Stalin).


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